BORN: 1981, Salem, OR
2006-2009 M.A., M.F.A., University of Wisconsin-Madison, WI.
2000-2004 B.F.A., Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland, OR.
2003 Studio Art Centers International, Florence, Italy – Study abroad.
2023 Night: New Works by Kendra Larson, Buckley Center Art Gallery, University of Portland, Portland, OR.
2022 Nature is a Haunted House, New Paintings, Augen Gallery, Portland, OR.
2021 Wild Fires, The Visual Arts Center, Newport, OR curated by Tom Webb.
2019 Patchwork Galaxy, Pacific University’s Kathrin Cawein Art Gallery, Forest Grove, OR.
Kendra Larson: New Works, Augen Gallery, Portland, OR.
2017 Paintings, Augen Gallery, Portland, OR.
2016 Sublime Crush, Augen Gallery, Portland, OR.
2015 New Aurora Works, Providence Hospital, Portland, OR.
New Work: Heather Goodwind and Kendra Larson, Lower Columbia College, Longview, WA.
2014 Moths and Malheur, Oranj Studios, Portland, OR.
2013 Mushrooms, Fish Bowl Project, Blackfish Gallery, Portland, OR.
Taking Shape, Window Project, PDX Contemporary, Portland, OR.
Sometimes a Great Notion, Mt. Hood Community College, Portland, OR.
2012 Avery, RACC Installation Art Series, Portland, Building, Portland, OR.
The Geography of Phenomena, Roger W. Rogers Gallery, Willamette University, Salem, OR.
Visions in the Landscape, Minthorn Art Gallery, George Fox University, Newberg, OR.
2011 Glass Lakes, Half Dozen Gallery, Portland, OR.
Oregon Romanticism, Helzer Art Gallery, PCC Rock Creek Campus, Portland, OR.
In The Pines, Launchpad Gallery, Portland, OR.
2010 Rogue Region, Blackfish Gallery, Fishbowl Window Project, Portland, OR.
The Cave, Half Dozen Gallery, Front Porch Project, Portland, OR.
Recent Work, Orlo, Portland, OR.
2009 Hideaway, Valentine’s, Portland, OR.
Signal-Scapes and Afflicted Animals, Common Wealth Gallery, Madison, WI.
2008 New Work, Madison Municipal Buildings ARTSpace, Madison, WI.
Forts, Hideouts, and the Conifer Projects, The Knapp House, Madison, WI.
2006 The Sky, Aratoi-Wairarapa Museum of Art and History, Masterton, New Zealand.
2023 Stasis, AMcE Creative Arts, Seattle, WA.
Augen Gallery, Portland, OR.
2022 Human Animal, at AMcE Creative Arts, Seattle, WA. Curated by McLean Emenegger.
Backroads: Further on Ahead, at Vestige Concepts Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA.
Women in Art, 2022, at the Las Laguna Art Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA.
2021 SEELE und GEIST (Soul and Spirit), KUNSTHAUS ROZIG, online gallery.
Artopia, SFVACC/SCORE, Tarzana, CA, juried by Quinton Bemiller.
Into the Woods, Cultural Center of Cape Cod, South Yarmouth, MA, juried by Amy Neill.
The Living Mark, Verum Ultimum Art Gallery, Portland, OR, juried by Richard Speer.
Shoebox Projects, Los Angeles, CA, juried by Kristine Schomaker.
San Fernando Valley Arts & Cultural Center, Tarzana, CA, juried by Carla Laureen Bollinger.
California Art League, CA, juried by Virginal Causton-Keene.
Artworks Northwest Biennial, Umpqua Valley Arts Center, Roseburg, OR, juried by Grace Kook Anderson.
2020 Frank Juarez Gallery, Milwaukee, WI, juried by Morgan Sims.
The Museum of the Oregon Territory, Oregon City, OR juried by Tammy Jo Wilson.
2019 The Arts Center, Corvallis OR, juried by Hester Coucke.
An Artistic Heritage, Lakewood Center for the Arts, Lake Oswego, OR, juried by Tammy Jo Wilson.
2018 Umpqua Valley Arts Association, Roseberg, OR, juried by Andres Fourie.
Group Landscape Show, Augen Gallery, Portland, OR.
2017 High Desert Museum, Bend, OR, juried by Andres Fourie.
Resonance and Reverence, High Street Gallery, Salem, OR, curated by Michael Hernandez.
Synesthesia, PCC Sylvania, Portland, OR, curated by Mark Smith.
2016 Aratoi Museum of Art and History, Masteron, New Zealand.
2015 Pataphysical Society, Portland, OR, curated by Josephine Zarkovich.
2014 Marin Museum of Contemporary Art, Novato, CA, juried by Betti-Sue Hertz.
The Arts Center, Corvallis, OR, curated by Hester Coucke.
University of Nevada, Reno, NV, curated by Paul Baker Prindle.
2013 Milk Factory Gallery, Chicago, IL.
Free People, Gallery Homeland, Portland, OR, curated by V. Maldonado.
Free People, Jacobs Gallery, Eugene, OR, curated by V. Maldonado.
Marylhurst University Art Gym, Portland, OR, curated by Terri Hopkins.
Flatlands, Nisus Gallery, Portland, OR, curated by Brad Nelson.
2012 Swarm Gallery, Oakland, CA, curated by Tia Factor.
2011 False Front Gallery, Portland, OR, curated by Emily Endo.
Boise State University, ID, curated by Courtney Gilbert.
2010 Lewis and Clark College, Hoffman Gallery, Portland, OR, curated by Linda Tesner and Tom Webb.
2009 “North American Graduate Art Survey”, University of Minnesota, Nash Gallery, Minneapolis, MN.
2008 In Cahoots, Overture Center for the Arts, Madison, WI.
The Contemporary View: Midwest Landscapes, Domont Studio Gallery, Indianapolis, MN.
2007 Influx, Overture Center for the Arts, Madison, WI.
2006 Portrait Show, Hall Gallery, Portland, OR.
Scratching the Surface, Gallery Homeland, Portland, OR.
2022 Fish Factory, Creative Centre of Stöðvarfjörður, Iceland.
2017 Sitka Center for Art and Ecology, Otis, OR.
2011 Signal Fire Retreat: Opal Creek Wilderness, OR.
2006 New Pacific Studios, Masterton, New Zealand.
2005 Caldera Arts, Sisters, OR.
AWARDS AND GRANTS
2021 Oregon Arts Commission Career Opportunity grant, Portland, OR.
Regional Arts & Culture Council Professional Development Grant, Portland, OR.
2020 Oregon Arts Commission Career Opportunity grant, Portland, OR.
2019 Regional Arts & Culture Council Project Grant, Portland, OR.
2012 Regional Arts & Culture Council Portable Works Collection, Portland, OR.
Purchase Award, George Fox University, Newberg, OR.
2011 Purchase Award, Oregon Department of Forestry, John Day, OR.
2008 Fellowship Nominee, Dedalus Foundation, New York, NY.
2006 Regional Arts & Culture Council Professional Development Grant, Portland, OR.
2022 Sitka Center for Art and Ecology, Inside the Studio.
2022 "We are human animals: A prowl through AMcE's latest exhibition," by Daniel Lindsley, Seattle Gay News, April 22, 2022.
2021 Interview on The Semi- Finalist
2021 Interview on ShoeboxLA
2021 Featured on Hyperallergic.
2016 Whanganui Chronicle, New Zealand, December 7, 2016.
2016 Wairarapa Times-Age, New Zealand, January 5, 2016.
2015 “Portland artists showcase contrasting styles at LCC Art Gallery,” The Daily News, Longview, WA, January 2015.
2012 Art Ltd. Magazine, September 2012.
2012 East Bay Express, August 2012.
2011 Saatchi Magazine.
2011 Three Fifty Five, London UK, September 2011.
2011 Madison Magazine, May 2011.
2010 The Bear Deluxe, No. 30, Portland, OR.
2008 “The Project Lodge: Art meets music,” by Tom Lasking, The Isthmus, February 8, 2008.
OTHER PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
2022 - present: Archer Gallery and Clark Art Talks Director, Clark College, Vancouver, WA.
2019 - present: Art Gab: a bi-weekly art podcast.
2018 - present: Art in Oregon, Board of Directors.
2014 - present: Stumptown Creative, art rental and consultancy business, Portland, OR.
2011 - 2014: Academic Affairs Assistant, Pacific NW College of Art, Portland, OR.
2012 - 2013: Curator, Vestibule at Disjecta, Portland, OR.
2007 - 2009: Gallery Owner and Curator, The Project Lodge, Madison, WI.
2022 - present: Professor, Clark Community College, Vancouver, WA.
2016 - present: Professor, Lewis and Clark College, School of Education, Portland, OR.
2016 - 2022: Instructor, Portland Community College, Portland, OR.
2013 - 2022: Instructor, Pacific NW College of Art, Portland, OR.
2012 - 2022: Professor, Portland State University, Portland, OR.
2015 - 2016: Professor, Pacific University, Forest Grove, OR.
2014 - 2018: Instructor, Sitka Center for Art and Ecology, Lincoln City, OR.
2013 - 2014: Professor, Pacific NW College of Art, Portland, OR.
2010 - 2012: Professor, Willamette University, Salem, OR.
2007 - 2009: Adjunct Professor, UW Madison, WI.
2005 - 2019: Outreach and Youth Classes Instructor, Pacific NW College of Art, Portland, OR.
ARTIST STATEMENT: GENERAL
My practice explores historical ideas of the landscape and subtly supports ideas around environmentalism, as well as contemporary relationships with the natural world.
Over the last 13 years my work has touched on themes of Astronomy, Magical Realism, Feminism, and a universal child-like wonderment by way of landscape imagery. I have depicted landscapes rich with a history of folklore with a focus on making visible the fleeting qualities (including smoke, fire, clouds, snow, movement, sound, and fireworks) that add to our understanding of Place.
ARTIST STATEMENT: SPECIFICALLY RECENT WORK
“Nature is a haunted house--but Art--is a house that tries to be haunted.” – Emily Dickinson
My aim for my most recent paintings was to depict nature and acknowledge that mystery and nostalgia tied to specific environments. The places I paint have been here before us, will remain after us, and they hold all sorts of secrets. The Pacific NW is special in that here the veil between the spiritual and physical world is thin. Mysterious as it is, the great outdoors has taken on an antidotal role during the pandemic. It serves as a healing escape, as well as a mirror to reflect our very human emotions of fear, isolation, and bravery. The imagery I chose (dark woods, people alone in the landscape, forest fires, steamy hot springs, bodies of water that reflect the cosmos, and caves) symbolize different qualities of the landscape: the powerful destruction of fire and healing qualities of hot springs points to notions of renewal; the haunting magic of the woods and caves, like the incomprehensible vastness of the universe, gives perspective to our human experience. My work often focuses on the fleeting qualities (ie. smoke, fire, clouds, snow, and sound) which add to our understanding of Place and the time we live in. Ultimately, my work reignites childhood wonderment, sheds light on the sublime, and calls on the viewer to protect natural spaces.
ARTIST STATEMENT: SCULPTURE
My animal sculptures are a whimsical offshoot of my more traditional painting and drawing practice. They are three dimensional paintings utilizing a drippy, painterly aesthetic that I find interesting and honest. The materials are varied: cardboard, spray foam, hula-hoops, paper, plaster, mirrors, wires, glue, caulking, spray and acrylic paints. The messiness of the material sometimes directs the form. The paint’s viscosity takes a leading role.
The resulting critters are complex in their symbolism, which can be at odds with their actual role within the ecosystem. Humans often make contradictory associations and tie unrealistic characteristics to animals. For instance, bats symbolize death and rebirth and are sometimes known as the “Guardian of the Night.’ They are associated with nocturnal vampire monster and have been connected to the origin of the Corona virus. Conversely, they are a major indicator species that plays an important role in biodiversity.
The cosmos painted on some of these animals references the idea that humans and animals alike are all just star dust. My curiosity of mysticism, paganism, and historical depictions of animals is brought forth in these works.”
Kendra Larson is an artist based in Portland, OR with a primary focus on the ephemerality of Pacific NW landscapes. Her work explores historical ideas of the Landscape and subtly supports ideas around environmentalism as well as contemporary relationships with the natural world.
Larson grew up in Salem, OR. She received her MFA in Painting at University of Wisconsin, Madison and has shown her work in venues in the United States and New Zealand. Larson is a past Signal Fire , Caldera (Sisters, Oregon) New Pacific Studios (Masterton, New Zealand), Sitka Center for Art and Ecology (Oregon), and Fish FactoryCreative Centre of Stöðvarfjörður (Iceland) artist in resident. Larson teaches at Clark College and is the Archer Gallery Director. She is represented by Augen Gallery in Portland, OR.
The first thing Kendra Larson learned to draw was conifer trees when she was seven. It was with her mom on a hike just north of Seattle. The air was crisp and it smelled like pines. There were mushrooms and slugs hiding in plain sight. Her mom showed her how to make the tree trunks darker on the sides to make them look cylindrical. Taking the time to observe the shadow shapes, Kendra worked the graphite to a stub. Larson was born in Salem, Oregon and lived there until she was eighteen. She moved to Portland and received her BFA from the Pacific NW College of Art and, following a residency at Caldera in Sisters Oregon, she began drawing large scale, charcoal landscapes. Full of awe and Romanticism, these drawings depicted the haunting mood and regenerative qualities of burnt forests. In 2006, she attended a residency in New Zealand, a land that was clear cut to make way for farming. These stark rolling hills gave her a better appreciation for how nature is understood in the Pacific Northwest: a balance between treating the woods as a recreational treasure, spiritual beacon, and economic commodity.
Later that year, Kendra moved to Madison, Wisconsin for graduate school. She quickly became homesick for the dewy NW air and the undulating mountainous horizon. Making images of her home made her feel better and that nostalgia was woven into her work. While at UW, Kendra taught undergraduates how to draw from observation and excited in them an interest in art. She also opened an art gallery called the Project Lodge. Juggling her painting, teaching, and the gallery was a challenge that, in the end, helped Larson develop a strong studio practice. Her thesis work consisted of forest paintings and painterly sculptures of woodland creatures. The work played up themes of mystery, fear, and myths tied to the wilderness.
In 2009, she received her MFA in Painting and Drawing and returned to Oregon. Kendra married Christopher Buckingham in 2010 at Silver Falls State Park. Today, they live in NE Portland with their dog. Kendra is active in the art community; she’s part of a painting collaborative, an adjunct art professor, a volunteer at Disjecta Art Center, a committee member at RACC, and a board member of Orlo. Her artwork continues to depict the northwest pines and mushrooms, but with a perspective of someone that has been away. As the saying goes, distance makes the heart grow fonder. Her paintings, formally speaking, balance painterly, expressionistic brush strokes with hard-edge illustrative elements. Conceptually, these paintings are mysterious and playful. As Andres Fourie, a curator at Willamette University, wrote about her work: “The paintings seem to give flesh to the childhood fantasy that one could be the first human being to set foot in an unspoiled land.” Her work continues to push the perception of landscape painging using the Pacific Northwest as a foundation.
Larson’s work has been shown in venues including The Art Gym, The Arts Center Corvallis, PDX Contemporary, Augen Gallery, Blackfish Gallery, Hoffman Gallery (Lewis and Clark College), Rogers Gallery (Willamette University), and Minthorne Art Gallery (George Fox University). She has exhibited outside of Oregon in venues including the Swarm Gallery in (Oakland, CA), Milk Factory Gallery (Chicago, IL), Nash Gallery (Minneapolis, MN), Boise State University, Sheppard Contemporary (Reno, NV), Domont Studio Gallery (Indianapolis, IN), and Overture Center for the Arts (Madison, WI). Her artwork has appeared in publications such as The Bear Deluxe and Tree Sap Magazine. She is represented by Augen Gallery in Portland, OR.